The cast of Seussical the Musical - Photo by Tim Matheson
Greg Armstrong-Morris as Mr Mayor; Photo by Tim Matheson

Seussical the Musical Music by Stephen Flaherty and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens; Book by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and Eric Idle

Dates and Venue 28 November 2008 – 3 January 2009 | Waterfront Theatre

Director Carole Higgins Choreographer Melissa Young Set Design Alison Green Lighting Itai Erdal Costume Design Barbara Clayden Stage Manager Danielle Fecko

Reviewer Jane Penistan

This happy musical is real family entertainment. The well loved Horton, of Horton Hears a Who comes to life, the Cat in the Hat is there, and other assorted Seuss characters, and some new friends. All the elements of fairy tales, good and bad behaviour, and be kind to your neighbours are there, without any stressed morality.

The central characters around whom the story of Horton and his Who revolve are the Cat in the Hat (Jeremy Lowe) and JoJo, the delightful boy who sings like an angel, Brian Riback. The threatening but benign and comic villains are Wickersham #1, 2 and 3, (Greg Armstrong Morris, Lucas Testini. and Joel Bernbaum), simian characters whose athletics and gestures are full of fun and mischief. Other animals are an Impala (Allison Herder), a Zebra, with very precise steps and a haughty toss of the head (Melissa Oei), and the Sour Kangaroo (Jennifer Neumann), complete with Roo in a pouch. She is a real grouch. Mayzie la Bird (Rebecca Talbot), is a very colourful bird of Paradise (?). And then there is Gertrude McFuzz, the other good character, Alison MacDonald.

The hero of the tale is Horton the Elephant who defends the small, invisible creature, whose cry for help is answered by the kind-hearted elephant. Allan Zinyk steals everybody’s heart with his warm and sympathetic performance.

Alison Green has dressed the stage with a spare but picturesque set, with plenty of room for the fast and intricate movements of the cast. The costumes of the human-animal personae are cleverly designed to emphasize each individual’s trait.

The music is lively and exhilarating, the two on stage pianists keeping the tempo at a rattling pace. The singers, particularly the soloists, all sing well.. The movement and posture of the animal and human characters is maintained through all the very lively and well drilled dancing.

Outstanding in the work throughout the performance is that of Brian Riback and Allan Zinyk
Carole Higgins’ company plays together well and the precision of the entire work is of a very high calibre.
This presentation is like and old fashioned pantomime without the naughty jokes for adults. All the fairytale elements and good and evil characters are presented musically, and the fun bubbles throughout.

This is real family entertainment. The script is not written down for children, so both the young and the not so young will be intrigued and entertained by this fast paced, clever and well produced show. Don’t miss out on this enjoyable fun show this Christmas.

© 2008 Jane Penistan